23 Jan 2019
By Robert Mazur
Testimony in the ongoing New York federal trial of “El Chapo” Guzman offered a repeat of facts heard in hundreds of similar trials since the prosecution of Al Capone. Despite that blaring reminder, governments, including the one now prosecuting El Chapo, appear to turn a deaf ear to the screaming need for a meaningful proactive global plan that will routinely identify and attack the world’s mega money launderers that enable criminal enterprises to corrode the free world.
For those who feel what we’ve been doing on the money laundering front is a success, please refer to the United Nations on Drugs & Crime estimate that annual revenue from global sales of illegal drugs is thought to be in the range of $400 billion.
Compare that to statistics concerning the annual forfeiture of drug proceeds by law enforcement and you’ll discover that more than 95% of annual illegal drug proceeds flow freely under the noses of law enforcement, regulators and compliance professionals into the world’s economy.
That’s not success.
Time for something different
Beyond that, let’s not forget that the greatest number of meaningful achievements on the money laundering front have come through gifts handed to governments by whistleblowers. The world has been lucky in that regard, but we can’t count on that alone, especially since whistleblowing is shunned in many nations.
We need to develop an effective global initiative to attack this problem on a continuing basis. Evidence provided in the criminal trial of “El Chapo” Guzman underscores a major problem he and other leaders of criminal enterprises face – what to do with mountains of currency?
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